The Georgetown Palace Theater’s Current Production Is The CATS Meow

Georgetown Palace Theatre Your Local Color.ComCATS has always been a favorite of mine, not because I have ever seen it all the way through, but because it was my daughter’s favorite. Several years ago she got to know this famous Broadway musical and fell in love with it. She had a video of it and would have it running on our living room TV very regularly.

I probably watched several hours of CATS over those years, catching bits and pieces here and there, but like I said, I don’t think I’ve ever watched it from beginning to end. I wish I had. CATS was just ever-present in our home. I even learned some of the lyrics to the musical just by listening to my daughter singing the songs while she puttered around the house. That really is a happy memory. [Read more…]

Sam Bass Community Theatre’s Current Production: The Boys Next Door

Sam Bass Community Theatre The Boys Next Door Your Local Color.ComSam Bass Community Theatre is currently running The Boys Next Door and it is fantastic. I recently got the chance to drop by, watch the rehearsal, and interview Frank Benge, Publicity Director at Sam Bass, and Director, Eric Nelson.

The Boys Next Door, written by Tom Griffin, is a play about four men who share a group home. The play not only deals with their everyday challenges, but also the personal and professional struggles of their caregiver, Jack. Jack, a truly good man, tries to do his best to take care of ‘the boys’ – Arnold, Lucien, Norman and Barry – while he is also trying to make sense of his own personal and professional life. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre Brings Us It’s A Wonderful Life – With A Twist

Penfold Theatre Round Rock, TexasThere is not a Christmas that goes by that I don’t watch Frank Capra’s classic holiday heart-warmer, It’s a Wonderful Life. George Bailey will always be one of my favorite characters. Released right after the end of World War II and filmed in black and white, it is a timeless story that reminds us what our true gifts really are – life and family. I just love it.

Like most everyone else my age, I have watched that movie countless times over the years. Capra caught lightning in a bottle in that effort which is something rarely done with a camera.  It never gets old. Somewhere we have a DVD of it in our movie library. I really should take it out and watch it more often than just at the holidays. It is such a tonic, and so good for the soul. [Read more…]

Sam Bass Community Theatre Turns Scrooge On His Head For Your Holiday Entertainment

18ca31_4e42fdcfefa149abf4bcb3a7bf4aeb62.gif_srz_p_175_162_75_22_0.50_1.20_0We all have our favorite Christmas holiday stories, movies, shows and plays, and there are multiple versions of each one to choose from at this time of year. From Charlie Brown to The Little Drummer Boy, the holidays are filled with a rich assortment of our favorite stories and characters. At the top of that list of favorite stories and characters for many is Charles Dickens’ A Christmas Carol and the arch-Christmas villain, Ebenezer Scrooge. We have grown so familiar with that beloved story of redemption that phrases like “bah-humbug” and “God bless us, every one” instantly put us in the holiday spirit.

Still, there are so many other truly great Christmas stories. How do you find time to catch up on all of them with everything else to do this time of year? Well, one way is to catch Sam Bass Community Theatre’s production of Mrs. Bob Cratchit’s Wild Christmas Binge. In this play you are going to find many of the characters from your favorite holiday stories all jumbled up in this slightly tilted version of Dickens’ classic Christmas tale. [Read more…]

What’s Going On At Sam Bass Community Theatre

Red-Velvet-Cake-WarSam Bass Community Theater has a lot going on for the next few weeks. For starters, they are getting close to the opening of their next production which will be The Red Velvet Cake War, directed by Lynn Beaver, and created by the famous comedy writing trio of Jones, Hope, and Wooten. This laugh fest of a show will be starting its run on Friday September 27th and it will run through Saturday October 19th. Please watch the attached video for hilarious clips from Sam Bass’s most recent reading. You will really enjoy yourself.

Jones, Hope and Wooten are well known for their ability to capture the unique flavor of small town southern life. and The Red Velvet Cake cake-red-velvet-cakeWar is that and so much more. The play is situated in the fictional town of Sweetgum, Texas, and is centered on the antics of the Verdeen family, their family reunion, and a hotly contested bake-off. I attended a reading rehearsal, and I laughed the whole way through. Watch the video.

Sam Bass Community Theatre LogoAlso on the Sam Bass Community Theatre agenda is their membership drive, a season ticket drive and fundraising for a new annex. Membership opportunities with SBCT are available at many levels, and depending on the level you choose, memberships come with very attractive perks that really sweeten the deal. Memberships start at a modest $15 and go as high as you want. Some of the perks include complementary tickets, complementary season tickets, invitations to gala events, and of course, you get to support a local, Round Rock organization that is working hard to enrich our lives through superb entertainment. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Sam Bass Community Theatre – More Hidden Treasure

18ca31_4e42fdcfefa149abf4bcb3a7bf4aeb62.gif_srz_p_175_162_75_22_0.50_1.20_0It has always been tough being a kid. I know, everyone’s experience is a little different, but learning how to become an adult is just not easy. Someone always seems to be there with a clipboard and a stop watch to measure how a child is doing based on some arbitrary standard set by a bunch of experts who we all assume know what they are talking about. If a kid doesn’t live up to these standards when it is believed they should, they seem to have to start all over again and they can’t move on until a box is checked. That has to be unbelievably frustrating.

It just seems like it is a lot more complex now than when I was a kid. I don’t understand all of the causes, but kids seem a little more stressed out and anxious than I remember from my own experience in school and the experiences of my friends.

imagesI saw it when I did substitute teaching for a year in the Austin schools. I saw a lot of frustrated and sullen kids who appeared to have just given up. These kids were where the adults said they needed to be, and that seemed to be the extent of their commitment to the entire process. A lot of kids I worked with seemed to have just given up. It was very sad to see and experience. I was also stunned by the behavior I saw, and although I chalked a lot of it up to how kids treat subs, it was often stunningly offensive and dehumanizing; I wondered how this could have happened. When did this become okay?

I saw something quite different this past week at the Sam Bass CommunityTheatre here in Round Rock.Sam Bass Community Theatre (16) I saw motivated, relaxed and happy children who treated each other with kindness and respect, and they treated the adults who supervised and instructed them with the same level of care. It was wonderful. After my experience substituting in Austin, this really was one of the most uplifting experiences I have ever had. I left with a new appreciation for the adults who take time to work with children. On top of that, all of the adults who were there were not getting paid a penny for their time. This really was a labor of love. [Read more…]

Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre Presents Shipwrecked: An Entertainment

Shipwrecked (1)Thinking back when I was a kid, I remember my first adventure story and how thrilling Disney’s 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea was. I loved Captain Nemo’s submarine and all of the fancy gadgets on board. But it was the adventure that was the biggest draw. Going somewhere nobody else had ever been was the goal. Because of that story, I became addicted to fantasy adventure movies and books like Treasure Island, Journey to the Center of the Earth, Robinson Crusoe, Moby Dick, Kidnapped, Robinson Crusoe on Mars (It’s for real. Google it. It was an amazing movie for a five year old boy), Swiss Family Robinson, The Lost World and on and on.

I couldn’t get enough of that kind of entertainment and I knew that one day I would explore Shipwrecked (5)the great unknown. That dream proved fleeting. When I found out there really were no more unexplored desert islands and that the center of the earth was really a blob of molten iron and nickel, I almost gave up on life. Was I going to spend the rest of my life mowing yards in Waco? What was left to do, I asked myself.

Julie Linnard and Robert L. Berry

Julie Linnard and Robert L. Berry

Well, there are still great books and movies to explore and as I grew up I found out that life can be a great adventure even if you never set foot out of your own home town. Getting married and starting a family became my most important high sea adventure. Raising kids was my trip up a tornado in a frame farm house. Teaching my son to use the toilet and not his diaper was my sea monster encounter. It has been a thrill a minute. Still, when life starts to get me down, I can still imagine myself as Tom Hanks, alone on a desert island with nobody to hassle me and my best friend is a soccer ball, but I digress. [Read more…]

Sweet Seven Designs – Ashlyn and Vicki Henderson at Georgetown’s Market Days

Georgetown Texas Sweet 7 Designs Ashlyn and Vicki Henderson

Ashlyn and Vicki

I mentioned Ashlyn and Vicki Henderson in my most recent article on Georgetown Market Days. Ashlyn and Vicki were kind enough to give me a few minutes of their time to talk about their business, Sweet Seven Designs.

Ashlyn makes soap and Sweet Seven Designs is the business she founded to sell that soup. She started Sweet Seven Designs so she could earn a little extra spending money and two years later she is still going strong. She sells her soap at Market Days and she has an Etsy account she uses as well.  Oh, I forgot to mention that she started this when she was seven years old and now she is nine.  Impressive.

Mom, Vickie, tells the story like this: Ashlyn needed to find a way to earn some extra cash. She didn’t want to do chores around the house as Vickie proposed so Vicki offered another solution. Ashlyn had just learned how to make soap along with some of her friends and so Vickie suggested that making and selling soap would be the way to go. Ashlyn liked the idea and they immediately set to work to bring this idea into the market place. I am just amazed at the strong entrepreneurial spirit that is on display in this little girl. [Read more…]

A Marvelous Party – Round Rock’s Penfold Theatre

imagesWell times are tough but they’re never so tough that a good jolt of dinner theater can’t bring a skip to your step and a smile to your face. Here’s your chance to relax, lighten up and support our amazing local performing artists. Penfold Theatre’s 2013 – 14 season will be announced at A Marvelous Party on May 19th on the grounds of Kindred Oaks estates out in the Hill Country.  Tickets are available through May 13th.  A Marvelous Party is complied and directed by Susan Finnigan and Nathan Jerkins.

A great meal will be catered by Bowties 2 Bluejeans while guests are entertained by local “crooners” who have been a part of Penfold’s past productions. The event is a fund raiser for Penfold and all of the proceeds will go to support its upcoming season and to further support its “mission to bring professional theater performances and education programs to North Travis and Williamson Counties.” Those who follow this blog know that this is just what Your Local is all about.

Ryan Crowder

Ryan Crowder

I had the chance to spend some time with several of the people involved with the Penfold Theatre group. I dropped by a rehearsal held at the beautiful home of Susan Finnigan where I got the chance to peek in on the musical magic and interview Penfold’s Producing Artistic Director, Ryan Crowder. I was also able to listen to performances by Nathan Jerkins, Penfold’s Artistic Director, and Stephanie Delk, who is a stage manager and performer with Penfold Theatre. They were working on their songs for the A Marvelous Party performance, as was Ryan, and if you click on the video you will get to see and hear some of what you are in for at the May 19th fund raiser. The video also goes into some interesting detail about Penfold’s past, present and future.  [Read more…]